I’m sure there are sensible, practical pagans around the world who are wondering why more than 6,000,000 people would stand in the rain.
Ah…let me count the reasons…
- They are in the Philippines
- They are Catholic
- It is Mass celebrated by the Holy Father
- It probably happens once in a lifetime
But to be honest, my first reaction was a bit like the non-believers – what insanity. Then I remembered something I did just about a year ago when I was blessed to visit Rome.
A kind soul gave me a ticket to attend Mass inside St Peter’s, celebrated by the Holy Father. It was Sunday, and following Mass the Pope was scheduled to pray the Angelus and give a reflection from his window high about the square outside.
It was cold, windy and rainy. But as soon as Mass finished, I marched into the square and stood in the rain (with a group of friends) and waited for the Pope to appear. By the time he arrived, we were pretty wet, at least from the knees down. (Raincoats and umbrellas are imperfect creations.)
Once he appeared, he was too far away that I could barely see him. And he spoke in Italian, which I don’t understand (except for some of the hand signals drivers in Rome use).
But we all stood there, prayed, cheered, clapped, laughed and celebrated the joy of being with the Holy Father. It appears I am as insane as the folks in the Philippines. But it is crazy good.